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Angelo Dundee

Angelo Dundee
File:Angelo Dundee.jpeg
Dundee in June 2010.
Born (1921-08-30)August 30, 1921
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died February 1, 2012(2012-02-01) (aged 90)
Tampa, Florida
Nationality American
Occupation Boxing Trainer
Known for Training Muhammad Ali (1960–1981)

Angelo Dundee (born Angelo Mirena; August 30, 1921 – February 1, 2012) was an American boxing trainer and cornerman. Best known for his work with Muhammad Ali (1960–1981), he also worked with 15 other world boxing champions, including Sugar Ray Leonard, José Nápoles, George Foreman, George Scott, Jimmy Ellis, Carmen Basilio, Luis Rodriguez and Willie Pastrano.[1]

Professional career

Born in Philadelphia of Italian descent,[2] Dundee went to New York and later to Miami where he learned many of the strategies of a boxer's cornerman while acting as a "bucket man" to the great trainers of Stillman's Gym. There, his mentors included Charlie Goldman, Ray Arcel and Chickie Ferrera. Later, his brother Chris Dundee opened the Fifth Street Gym in Miami.

Carmen Basilio was the first world champion for whom Dundee acted as a cornerman when Basilio defeated Tony DeMarco for the world welterweight crown and later Sugar Ray Robinson for the world middleweight crown.[When?]

Career with Muhammad Ali

Dundee traveled around the world with Ali, and he was the cornerman in all but two of Ali's fights (Tunney Hunsaker in 1960 and Jimmy Ellis in 1971). Dundee trained the young Cassius Clay, as Ali was then known, in most of his early bouts, including those with Archie Moore (who had trained Clay before his partnering with Dundee) and Sonny Liston, where Clay won the Heavyweight title. Dundee continued to train Ali in all of his fights until his exile from boxing, and upon Ali's return to the sport Dundee trained him in almost all of his fights, including Ali's famed bouts with fighters such as Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Joe Frazier, Floyd Patterson, George Foreman, Ken Norton and, later, Leon Spinks. One exception was in Ali's '71 fight with Jimmy Ellis where Dundee was in Ellis' corner. Ali knocked Ellis out in the 12th round. Dundee was accused by Foreman of loosening the ring ropes before his 1974 The Rumble in the Jungle fight with Ali to help Ali win the fight by using the rope-a-dope technique. Dundee consistently denied tampering with the ropes.[3] In 1998, after decades, Dundee reunited with Muhammad Ali and appeared alongside him in a sentimental Super Bowl commercial.

Career with Sugar Ray Leonard

Dundee saw a future emerging star in Sugar Ray Leonard, whom he called "a smaller version of Ali". Dundee acted as cornerman for Leonard in many of his biggest fights, including those with Wilfred Benítez, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler. In Leonard's first bout with Hearns, Dundee, thinking that his protégé was behind on the scorecards, quipped the now famous words, "You're blowing it, son! You're blowing it!" before the start of round 13.[4] Leonard went on to score a fourteenth round win when the referee stopped the fight.

Other work

Dundee later teamed up with George Foreman, including his 1991 Heavyweight title fight against Evander Holyfield and his 1994 Heavyweight title win against then-undefeated Michael Moorer.

In addition, Dundee also trained world champions Luis Rodriguez, Willie Pastrano, Ralph Dupas, José Nápoles, Pinklon Thomas, Trevor Berbick, Jimmy Ellis, Wilfredo Gómez, Michael Nunn and Sugar Ramos, as well as other boxers including Bill Bossio, David Estrada, Douglas Vaillant, Jimmy Lange, Tom Zbikowski and Pat O'Connor.

In 2005, Dundee was hired to train Russell Crowe for Crowe's characterization of James J. Braddock in Cinderella Man. To that end, Dundee traveled to Australia to work with the Oscar-winning actor and appeared in the film as "Angelo" the corner man.

In November 2008, he was hired as a special consultant for Oscar De La Hoya's fight with Manny Pacquiao.[5]


Dundee was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.[6]

Popular culture

Dundee was played in the movie Ali (2001) by actor Ron Silver. Dundee was also portrayed by Ernest Borgnine in the 1977 film, The Greatest.


Angelo Dundee fell and broke his hip a year or more prior to his death and he recuperated - all unbeknownst to most people. But the fall caused a blood clot to develop which eventually traveled to his heart, killing him. Dundee died peacefully in his sleep at his senior resident apartment at the age of 90 on February 1, 2012, in Tampa, Florida after five years of heart disease. Three weeks before his death, he attended Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday party in Louisville, Kentucky on January 17, 2012. He died about three months after boxer Joe Frazier died of liver cancer on November 7, 2011.[7][8]


  1. ^ "Angelo Dundee". The Daily Telegraph (London). February 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ Arnold, Laurence (February 2, 2012). "Angelo Dundee, Trainer of Boxing Champ Muhammad Ali, Dies at 90 in Florida". Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ "BBC Hardtalk June 13, 2008". 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Rafael, Dan (October 30, 2008). "De La Hoya signs Dundee as special consultant ahead of Pacquiao fight". Archived from the original on 9 April 2009. Retrieved March 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Hall of Fame boxing trainer Dundee dies". Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Muhammad Ali trainer Angelo Dundee dies". BBC news. February 2, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Famed boxing trainer Angelo Dundee dies". CNN. February 2, 2012. Retrieved February 2, 2012. 

Further reading

  • Dundee, Angelo (2009). My View From the Corner: A Life in Boxing. McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 978-0-07-162847-1. 

External links

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